Belgrade, June 12, 2012
INAUGURATION OF SERBIAN PRESIDENT
NIKOLIC: I WILL HELP SERBIA CONTINUE ON EUROPEAN PATH
BELGRADE, June 11 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic said Monday at his inauguration that Serbia's European path is the path to future economic prosperity, that he will help to continue on this path and that he will work with everyone in the world in the interest of the state.I will build friendships around the world, because Serbia does not have the right to have enemies. Serbia's European path is the path to the future, the path of economic prosperity, and I will help Serbia to continue on this path, Nikolic said.The Serbian president emphasized that when it comes to policy towards the region, he will not allow different views on certain events from the past to threaten the common future.He also emphasized that all differences and problems should be resolved by peaceful and democratic means, above all through dialogue.Nikolic said that he would uphold Serbia's Constitution, respect and protect the territorial integrity of the state, and try to unite all political forces in the country to establish and implement a common policy towards Kosovo and Metohija.The president also stressed that he would cooperate with the future government, but that he would also monitor and criticize its work.I will ask it to fight fiercely against crime and corruption, and I will participate in this fight, and I will not rest until the persons accountable for the plundering privatizations carried out in Serbia are found, Nikolic said.Promising that he would devote his time, strength, knowledge and energy to the development of Serbia and welfare of its citizens, Nikolic said that this is his obligation and debt to all citizens who live hard, who do not see a clear perspective for themselves and their children and who expect from him, and future governments, to change the situation in the country and ensure a better life.Nikolic said that he will therefore start and finish any conversation with any official from the world by asking their investors to invest capital in Serbia, adding that he is ready to help the country provide better conditions for those who have money and are able to offer jobs.We will start comprehensive reforms with ourselves. We will have to work hard, but also save more, Nikolic said, and announced that the expenses of his office, though not large, will be reduced and that other institutions and state bodies will have to follow suit.We are facing difficult times in which we must show more responsibility, diligence and a clear plan to show everyone that Serbia has a solution and the potential and wants to move forward, the president said.Nikolic thanked former President Boris Tadic, noting that he served as president in a very difficult period.Nikolic gave special thanks to EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele, who is attending the inauguration, for always being with Serbia, adding that he hopes Fuele will continue to do so in the future, too.
FUELE: EU WILL BE SERBIA'S CLOSEST ALLY
BELGRADE, June 11 (Tanjug) –EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele stated Monday that the EU will be Serbia's closest ally on its pathway towards a full-fledged EU membership.EU will support you and will be your closest ally. We will stand side by side with you and the Serbian citizens, Fuele stated at the inauguration of Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, adding that the EU hopes that Serbia will form a government soon.Fuele said that his presence at the inauguration is a sign of commitment to Serbia, its people, its efforts to modernize the country, and the EU integration.The EU wants Serbia to advance on its EU pathway, and I eagerly await for the strengthening of relations between Serbia and the EU and close cooperation with you Mr. President, and other institutions in this job. You can count on my personal support, and the support of the EU, the commissioner underlined.Fuele welcomed the promises made by Nikolic concerning the continuity of institutions, and the fact that Nikolic's first official visit as president will be to Brussels.That is a clear sign of your intention of continue the work of your predecessor Boris Tadic, whom I would also like to commend today, Fuele said, adding that Serbia needs to do serious work before accession talks open, taking into account that the EU will consider the country's progress in October.He said that the EU has no hidden requests, adding that the first thing to be considered is the progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and further normalization of relations, as well as implementation of reforms in crucial areas of judiciary and anti-corruption fight.Serbia needs to keep pace with the European policy and to put EU integration in the very center of the future government's work, Fuele pointed out.Stressing that regional cooperation is highly significant for the EU, Fuele said that the most important thing will be for President Nikolic to convey clear messages and fulfill promises he made to the people and the entire region.
VUJANOVIC HOPES FOR CLOSE MONTENEGRO-SERBIA TIES
BELGRADE, June 11 (Tanjug) –Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic stated in Belgrade Monday that he hopes for the strengthening of good relations between Montenegro and Serbia and regional cooperation.Upon the completion of the ceremony at the Serbian presidential building, Vujanovic told the journalists that he arrived at the inauguration of the Serbian President so as to show respect for the will of the people who elected Tomislav Nikolic as the head of state.I came to show that I believe Serbia and Montenegro are states which should have close ties, that we should cooperate as partners, that we will not interfere in each other's interior affairs. Montenegro holds out an open hand to such cooperation, Vujanovic stressed.He pointed out that, in their address, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele and Nikolic both called for the continuation of Serbia and the region's EU pathway.Vujanovic did not wish to comment on the decision of his regional counterparts not to attend the event in Belgrade, and once again expressed hope that close cooperation between regional countries will continue.He recalled Nikolic's commitment to the development of close regional cooperation by preserving and honoring the sovereignty of all states.
DODIK: RS AND SERBIA SHOULD CONTINUE COOPERATING
BELGRADE, June 11 (Tanjug) –President of Republika Srpska (RS) Milorad Dodik stated on Monday that he has come to attend the inauguration of Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic with the expectation that RS and Serbia would continue cooperating in the best possible way and strengthening their relations.There is nothing more ordinary than for me to attend Nikolic's inauguration and pay respect to the choice which the people of Serbia made in the elections when they voted for Nikolic, Dodik told reporters before entering the Presidency building and added that RS respects their choice and welcomes it because the elections were fair.Dodik noted that there is realistic ground for strengthening the relations between Serbia and RS.When asked to comment on relations between RS and Russia, Dodik said that their ties are very positive and that they share a very clear political and economic cooperation. He expressed regret over the fact that he cannot attend the reception of the Russian ambassador in Sarajevo because of the inauguration of the Serbian president.In any case, development of positive relations with Russia and preservation and further development of good relations with Israel is of key importance, in addition to maintaining good relations with Serbia, Dodik said.
26TH MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF BSEC
BSEC CALLS FOR STRENGTHENING REGIONAL COOPERATION
BELGRADE, June 11 (Tanjug) –Representatives of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) member countries pointed to the region's strategic significance and opportunities for further strengthening of cooperation at a BSEC meeting on Monday.The participants of the 26th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the BSEC, held in Belgrade, praised Serbia's chairmanship of the organization and announced that the next BSEC summit, in Istanbul in late June, will be co-chaired by Serbia and Turkey, which takes over the six-month rotating presidency on July 1.Opening the meeting, Assistant Foreign Minister of Serbia Sladjana Prica said that the goal of the organization was to make the Black Sea region a "region with no problems whatsoever between neighboring countries and part of the world that is prosperous and peaceful.""During its six-month chairmanship, Serbia has promoted dialogue and cooperation between member states, an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect," said Prica.Strengthening BSEC's internal structures was Serbia's chairmanship priority, she added, stressing that it led to the strengthening of cooperation in two priority areas - environmental safety and energy.BSEC Secretary General Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos congratulated Serbia for excellent work the country had done during the six-month presidency of the organization, especially in the domain of energy and environmental protection.Russia's First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Denisov voiced satisfaction about the fact that Serbia's presidency focused on practical issues, environment in particular.Denisov underlined that the countries have to work on improving the regional transport system and infrastructure, and recalled the signing of a memorandum on the development of motorways in the region, stressing that the Russian section will be completed prior to the Winter Olympic Games that are due to be held in Sochi in 2014.Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said that the unresolved conflicts in the region pose an obstacle to the realization of BSEC goals. His Georgian counterpart David Jalaghania agreed with this, taking "the aggression against Georgia" as an example, and added that despite being an economic organization, the BSEC should assist in settling political disputes.Selim Belortaja, Albania's deputy minister of foreign affairs, spoke in favor of Kosovo joining the organization.He said the situation in the region, particularly the success in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, must be taken into consideration in the BSEC agenda and stressed the importance of the involvement and participation of the entire region.The participants also congratulated Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic on his election as the president of the UN General Assembly.The BSEC was founded on June 25, 1992, and has 12 member countries: Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Greece, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Albania and Serbia.Serbia assumed the six-month presidency of the organization on January 1, 2012.
STEFANOVIC: NO INDEPENDENT KOSOVO IN REGIONAL INITIATIVES
BELGRADE, June 11 (Tanjug) –Head of Belgrade's team in the dialogue with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic stated on Monday that the initiative of Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister Selim Belortaja for Kosovo to join the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) comes as an expected step, but added that Kosovo cannot participate in regional organisations as an independent country.Pristina can have its representatives in organisations if it meets the organisation's regulations and if it is not presented as an independent country, Stefanovic told Tanjug.During the 26th meeting of the BSEC Council of Foreign Ministers in Belgrade on Monday, Belortaja backed integration of Kosovo in the organisation and pointed out that the situation in the region, and particularly the success in Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, has to be taken into account in the organisation's agenda.Responding to the statement, Stefanovic underscored that regional cooperation is important and that Pristina's voice needs to be heard, but exclusively with respect for the organisation in which it appears.Kosovo is not and cannot be an independent country, Stefanovic told Tanjug and added that Kosovo can appear in regional initiatives only on condition that it is not represented as an independent country.Belortaja stated in Belgrade on Monday that during its chairmanship over regional initiatives, Albania always believed that integration and participation of the entire region is important and it will continue to support this stand during the forthcoming CEFTA chairmanship.
SERBIA – EU
FUELE: SUSTAINABLE PROGRESS WITH KOSOVO VITAL FOR SERBIA
BELGRADE, June 11 (Tanjug) –EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele stated Monday that the key priority on Serbia's EU path was the achievement of a clear and sustainable progress in Belgrade's relations with Kosovo.Since Serbia is now an EU candidate, we should clearly and transparently inform the country what it is expected to do, Fuele said after his meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic whose inauguration brought him to Belgrade.Fuele said that there was ambition for Serbia to open accession talks with the EU by the end of the current year, and that this was the reason why not a single hour or day should be lost.He reiterated that the new government should to be constituted as soon as possible.The EU Council pointed to five tangible points which Serbia needs to achieve, Fuele said and added that nobody can possibly have a different interpretation of that.Another point lies in the expectation for the reform process to continue and to react positively to the launched reforms, he said.We need to make fresh efforts to ensure a thorough judiciary reform, continuation of the fight against corruption, further development of the institution of the Ombudsman and a favorable business environment, Fuele said.The EU expects Serbia to play an important role in regional cooperation and lead the reconciliation process in the region, he said.The EU enlargement commissioner noted that he had come to attend the Serbian president's inauguration and back Serbia on its EU path because, as he said, the EU shared with Serbia the dream of seeing the country in Europe.Welcoming Fuele as "Serbia's tested and tried friend," Nikolic said that the EU enlargement commissioner had backed the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) even when the party had still been in the opposition, adding that Fuele had never held any political bias or had interfered with the constitution the Serbian government.Nikolic welcomed Fuele's commitment to Serbia's goal of becoming a member of the EU.When asked whether Kosovo-Metohija had been mentioned as a condition for Serbia's further progress toward the EU, Nikolic said that he had never heard Fuele mention such a condition."Had I heard anything of the kind, I would have told you about it," said Nikolic."We discussed the Belgrade-Pristina talks, which should help us resolve the issue," Nikolic said, stressing that the talks should resolve all issues in a way that would be acceptable to all sides in the negotiations. Nikolic said that Fuele and he had not touched on the status issue, but rather discussed the fact that all citizens in Kosovo-Metohija should first be provided peace and security, and then economic recovery and prosperity, adding that the issue should be resolved through negotiations in a way that would be acceptable to the negotiating sides.When it comes to the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Fuele said that on the one hand there were expectations of the EU member states regarding what Serbia should do, the requirements that were clearly defined.He said, however, that nobody would secretively condition Serbia.Fuele said that he expected Union's High Representative Catherine Ashton to discuss the status issue with Nikolic.It now rests with her and President Nikolic, but also with Pristina, to reach an agreement on these issues, he said.Fuele also noted that Nikolic and he had talked about reconciliation in the region, but added he had not come here to analyze all the words spoken, but rather to tell the president and the government that strengthening of the regional cooperation and reconciliation were important issues to deal with.When asked about his upcoming visit to Brussels, the Serbian president said that Fuele and he had touched on all the topics that would be discussed."I hold no secrets before you, and I think that the EU does not hold any secrets before Serbia either. Serbia should be in the EU and most of the citizens in Serbia believe the same, while the EU believes that Serbia is its reliable partner in this region, which should finally become a peaceful and stable," said Nikolic.He added that the talks in Brussels would focus on Serbia's obligations, but also the rights Serbia had.Asked about the likelihood of Serbia opening the EU accession negotiations by the end of the year, Fuele said that such ambition being present, not a second of time should be thrown away as the job necessitates making huge reform efforts.Given the limited time frame, the sooner the government is formed, the sooner its work on these issues will begin and make the goal more realistic, said Fuele.
KACIN: NEW SERBIAN GOVERNMENT TO FACE CRISIS
STRASBOURG, June 12 (Tanjug) –European Parliament (EP) Rapporteur for Serbia Jelko Kacin warned that the new Serbian government would have to face the economic crisis and corruption immediately upon constitution.The new government will have to tackle the financial crisis, unemployment and primarily, systemic corruption in the country which constitutes the greatest obstacle to the development of the economy, Kacin told MePs at the opening of the EP plenary session after informing them about the situation in Serbia.He underscored that President Tomislav Nikolic would be closely monitored by both Brussels and the regional countries because of his nationalist past. Serbia will have a strong and reliable partner in the EU in the time to come if the reconciliation process and building good neighbourly relations continue developing, and Nikolic's visit to Brussels on June 14 is especially important in that context, the rapporteur said.In addition to this, Kacin underscored the importance which the continuation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue bears for initiation of accession talks with the EU. At the Monday opening of the EP session in Strasbourg, EP President Martin Schulz spoke about Serbia and congratulated to Nikolic on his inauguration, underscoring that history must not be reshaped.